Article by Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun
People from the worlds of cannabis law, policy and business are questioning the purpose, practicality and timing of a Vancouver councillor’s motion seeking to increase scrutiny of cannabis dispensaries.
Non-Partisan Association Coun. Melissa De Genova has a motion on the agenda this week which seeks, among other things, to direct city staff to change requirements for city-licensed cannabis businesses “to include annual audited financial statements,” and to “obtain marijuana only from licensed producers approved by Health Canada.”
The motion’s stated purpose is to “deter organized crime.” And in an interview Tuesday at city hall, De Genova said she wants to promote public safety and “examine how this connects organized crime and/or gangs to the City of Vancouver and the impact it could have.”
But as many observers pointed out, Health Canada-approved licensed producers are not currently allowed to supply dispensaries.
Asked whether the city has the authority to require audited financial statements from dispensaries, De Genova pointed out that the city requires financial statements from organizations applying for cultural and community grants, although, she said, those statements are not audited.
But that comparison seemed like a “very strange leap” to Rielle Capler, a University of B.C. PhD candidate who researches cannabis policy.